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A pub tram in Helsinki

Visitfinland_helsinki_restaurant_tram_325
ABOVE: Take the tram and enjoy a tipple. INSET BELOW: A beer drinker's view of another tram along the streetcar line.

Helsinki streetcarVisit Finland sent us this news release, which we liked so much that we're publishing it in full:

Who said drinking on public transport is forbidden? SpåraKOFF, the world’s only pub tram, has been offering Helsinki sightseeing rides to thirsty customers every summer since 1995. Starting in May, you can again hop on, sit back, enjoy a cold drink and take in the highlights of the Finnish capital. What better way to get the feel of the city than sitting in this moving pub with a cold beer in front of you?

A tram converted into a classical style pub with interior decor of mahogany, brass and velvet, SpåraKOFF is truly one of a kind. The tram carried regular public passengers for 35 years, without a liquor license, before starting a new life as a pub tram in the spring of 1995. The name SpåraKOFF is coined from a Helsinki slang word for tram, “spåra”, and from the name of the oldest industrially operating brewery in the Nordic countries, Sinebrychoff.

The whole tour around the city takes about an hour. SpåraKOFF is an excellent way for summer visitors to experience Helsinki since the route passes many of Helsinki's main sights: the Central Railway Station, Linnanmäki Amusement Park, the Olympic Stadium, Finlandia Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Market Square and Helsinki Cathedral. The video screens inside show you how the sights look from the driver’s perspective.

You can hop on and off without a reservation at five different tram stops in the center of Helsinki. Your on board crew consists of the driver, as well as a waiter or waitress serving you beer, cider and soft drinks. There are approximately 30 seats.

Regular traffic in 2010 begins in early May and runs until the end of August. The pub tram is on the move five days a week, Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 2pm to 9pm. The fare is 8 euros for adults and 4 euros for children under 12 years old. Drinks are charged separately.

For more information about tourism in Finland, visit www.visitfinland.com.

Photos: Visit Finland.

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